Tilia Rose Swim is a fun, sporty swimwear brand that has got people turning their heads. Created by Tilly Rand-Bell, a self-taught designer who is showing us that you don’t need a degree to pursue your creative career through designing her very own swimwear collection. Tilly tells us that sporty swimwear doesn’t need to be boring but it can actually be quite fun as well as preventing you from a dreaded nip slip!
“Tilia Rose Swim is a bold, dramatic brand created for active females. I combine sporty cuts with boyish patterns for the ultimate women’s surf wear. I created the brand as I felt boys had more fun with their swimmers and I was bored of seeing the same patterns by the same brands over and over with women’s wear!”
Tilly explains that there is a strong message behind the brand and how she wants to promote real sports women and not the the photoshop look that we all desperately fail to achieve:
“I want to put inspiring, real sports women in my swimwear no matter how they look, I NEVER use photoshop to alter any bodies and think bumps and buries are fabulous. Young girls aspire to be Instagram famous now and look up to bodies that are not real. Brands have created that and so I want to help change the way brands use models and girls see themselves.”
So, what we really wanted to know about the Oxford based designer was… Why swimwear? Where did the idea start?
“Sadly my story is extremely cliché, but the idea started when I was travelling and when I got home I pretty much got started. I have always been creative but never wanted to just paint on a canvas. The idea first popped into my head when I was working in a surf shop in Aus. The swimwear was sporty and bold nothing like the swimwear in the UK at the time. Not long after my first initial idea, I went cliff jumping and there was more than a nip slip at the bottom. This made me think about how swimwear is designed to be either cool or supportive and I wanted both. Not to mention UK swimwear that’s available all year round!”
Your brand caught our eye because it’s more aimed at active women, what influenced this as apposed to mainstream ‘Ibiza style’ swimwear?
“Thanks! I’m active myself and not a wild party animal, so that’s the main reason haha! I also like to feel comfortable in my clothes not standing in a certain position just so it stays on or looks good… This being said I actually like the bright colours of the Ibiza style! I think real active women should be more influential to young girls on Instagram rather than the posed photoshopped pictures of girls on beaches who make a living by doing just that. I know so many amazing athletes who don’t get sponsored due to the fact they are not a tanned size 0 which is just simply terrible.”
You mention that your brand is sustainable; can you tell us a bit more on why this is important to Tilia Rose as a brand?
“The environment is very important to me and I take a lot of measures in my personal life to have a small carbon footprint. I feel it would be very hypocritical to not have my business run the same way. The packaging used is 100% biodegradable for a start and we are growing at a sustainable pace, we don’t do seasons and will never slash our prices down more than 25% off. Our swimwear is made to last and not to be thrown away after one year. Our factory is an ethical credited factory and this year we want to introduce some of the amazing people who made the swimwear. We want to highlight the talented people we work with and our chosen factory is amazing and we work with a lot of women who have had bad starts in life but are now educated and work hard to be paid well.”
Our stand out piece from your last collection was your shark print swimsuit! Do you have anything in particular that inspires your designs?
“All of my designs have stories, I spend ages creating and testing them. Each of these designs were inspired by my travels each one taking a different memory resulting in three very different designs. ‘Miko’ is special to me due to the fact he was the first piece I came up with. I was in my hostel after taking part in cage diving, I travelled over to Australia with the BIGGEST fear of sharks and I told myself it’s something that I need to do or I couldn’t go home haha! Sitting in my hostel, I started scribbling the design in my diary and flash forward it’s now in my collection. I named the shark and therefore the design ‘Miko’. It’s my most daring piece and I wasn’t sure how people would take to it. But it’s turned out to be my best seller! This has definitely giving me confidence to put out more unique prints.”
What can we expect from you in 2019, do you have a new collection being prepared?
“Yes! And it’s going to be made from recycled fishnets! I am so so excited to produce a piece using recycled material and I plan to keep all my swimwear in the future the same. As I said before I am taking it very slow, I want to be kind to the workers and the environment, so I am just doing one special piece. Its bold and shows a little more skin than the others but don’t worry it sport safe I promise… The piece aside I want to work with more inspiring women and really dive into the 80s/ 90s style. Think bolder and bigger. I finally know where I want the brand to go and can’t wait to see it grow.”
Do you have any last words of wisdom for anyone out there that is thinking of starting their own brand?
“A lot of it is sitting on your own with a cup of tea that’s gone cold with £-0000 in your account and a dead social life wondering if cats in your swimming costumes would go viral. But it’s your baby and if you have a passion, something you truly think is wonderful you will never regret it.” – We’re definitely intrigued by the cats in swimsuits scenario!
We’re excited to see Tilia Rose Swim grow as a brand! Making women feel good while taking part in sport as well as looking out for the environment… We LOVE your style Tilly!
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